Dematic has been awarded a contract to provide warehouse automation for omnichannel service provider Radial Europe, a member of the bpost group. The supplier of intelligent automation technology is to deliver 299 autonomous mobile robots (AMR) to its logistics center in Groningen, Netherlands. The transport robots will take over automatic pallet and tote conveying to the transfer stations and picking stations there. Dematic is also installing 45 pick and pack stations. For Dematic, it is the largest AMR-based order in the EMEA region to date. The planned system allows Radial to process orders more quickly with a minimised error rate. The eCommerce retailer also expects to increase its service level for its customers. The facility is scheduled for commissioning in 2023.
“By integrating advanced robotics and AI technologies into its warehouse operations, we can play a critical role in helping Radial achieve efficiency gains, flexibility and future scalability it wants for an optimised employee and customer experience,” explains Bernard Biolchini, EVP EMEA at Dematic, adding, “With this order, we show that Dematic can deliver innovative fulfilment solutions that are customised to customer requirements and that we are constantly expanding our end-to-end solution portfolio with new technologies. Radial also benefits from our end-to-end expertise from concept development, installation to customer service.”
At Radial, a leading provider of omnichannel commerce technologies and operations, the nearly 300 AMRs are scheduled to be used for processing eCommerce orders for women’s clothing. Previously, tasks in the warehouse were primarily handled manually. “With our technology, the level of automation will undergo a tremendous boost, making the processes more effective overall. The system enables Radial to anticipate changes in order volumes more quickly and respond to them flexibly,” says EVP Biolchini.
The project includes the delivery of the transport robots or AMRs – supplied by KION Group’s strategic partner, Quicktron – and the installation of 45 pick-and- pack stations. Three types of AMRs make up the total: Pallet-moving AMRs transport pallets from the entrance to the buffer. From there, the pallets are transferred to transfer stations and the picking station racks at the packing stations. The same process then happens again but in reverse. Tote handling AS/RS convey totes between the rack storage area and the picking stations. Next, tote lifters move them from the rack location to the transfer stations at the bottom of the rack. In total, the racking system has a capacity of approximately 65,000 totes for end customer goods.
One of the most critical benefits of an AMR is operational safety. Sensors and cameras detect obstacles and can reconfigure the route accordingly. In addition, the Dematic solution has powerful controls and software which allow AMRs to make simple and quick adjustments during operation. “Our AMR solutions can be installed as stand-alone systems or as part of other material handling systems. They work with sophisticated software algorithms and are thus able to independently create orders and establish efficient routes,” added Francis De Backer, MD, Benelux and Nordics, EMEA. He also says the system is comparatively easy to implement and can be used in a variety of environments.